Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joanne Harris: Chocolat

Chocolat: A

When beautiful, unmarried Vianne Rocher sweeps into the pinched little French town of Lansquenet on the heels of the carnical and opens a gem of a chocolate shop across fro the square form the church, she begins to wreak havoc with the town's Lenten vows. Her uncanny ability to perceive her customers' private discontents and alleviate them with just the right confection coaxes the villagers to abandon themselves to temptation and happiness, but enrages Pere Reynaud, the local priest. Certain only a witch could stir such sinful indulgence and devise such clever cures, Reynaud pits himself against Vianne and vows to block the chocolate festival she plans for Easter Sunday, and to run her out of town forever. Witch or not (she'll never tell), Vianne soon sparks a dramatic confrontation between those who prefer the cold comforts of the church and those who revel in their newly discovered taste for pleasure... (back cover)

I must say that this book was a gem to read. Ms. Harris' words are itself like warm, sweetened confections and completely succeed in making your insides tingle. She is one I would consider to be a poetic writer, with such beautiful taste and style.

The story is also very delightful, with the church pitted against Vianne's chocolate shop. Is it all right for one to indulge in their passions and desires? And what to do when one in a position of authority leads the people (or the congregation, in this case) in a direction that does not have so much to do with the people's well-being but has to do entirely with obtaining power? Are there absolute black and whites with no grays?

Oh, the questions! (And you know how much I like books that ask thoughtful questions..!)

Besides that, the entire book was about Vianne preparing delicious goodies that literally made my mouth water. Mmm..

If anything, read to see how Ms. Harris' sculpts her words to simply create a wonderful read.


april said...

I've heard this about the book. The lovers of the book were disappointed by the film, but I liked the movie having not read the book. My parents bought their vacation house furnished and this is one of the books that came with the house. I may have to borrow it on your recommendation.

Alice said...

The movie definitely deviates from the book, but that is what Hollywood does...

April, please read and let me know what you think of it!

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